A recent survey revealed that as the weather warms up, we spend longer on our appearance. Ready to invest more time in your look? Then it’s time to spring clean your makeup.

On average, women keep makeup for 6 years. We’ll admit, our makeup collections are over-flowing too, with products in there we know we’ll never use. Be strong, you know you’ll never use that orange eyeshadow! And out of date products are just plain dangerous. Here’s the low-down on when, what and why you should have a clear out.

Why You Need A Spring Clearout

They don’t work as well
It’s true, even makeup you’ve opened but never used (why?!) will stop working as well after a set time. Foundation will oxidise and change colour, mascara will dry out due to the high water content and sunscreen will stop being as effective. So give it to a friend, let your kids play with it or make a mental note not to buy the product again and put it in the bin!
Bacteria
Pesky bacteria will insist on growing just about anywhere. Products with a high water content will fare the worst (foundation, liquid liner etc.) but pressed powders don’t escape either. Products going near your eyes should be changed the most but is 2 year-old concealer really worth a breakout?

Spring Clean Your Makeup – Mascara

We’re terrible for hogging mascara. If it’s a recent purchase and it’s starting to dry out, then add a few drops of sterile saline until the next one arrives. But any longer than a week or so and it really has to go.

Spring Clean Your Makeup – Foundation

You can keep foundation for 6 to 12 months, but that REALLY depends on how you use it. If you’re using a pump action bottle it’s fine to keep it that long. But anything you put fingers or a sponge into, really should go after 3 months.

Spring Clean Your Makeup – Palettes

We feel your pain – it cost a lot, it looks pretty, and there are some shades left you sort of like. But if the product is starting to crumble, or you’ve muddied the colours, then it has to go. Yes there are hacks with rubbing alcohol (like this one on Pinterest) but it’s hard to source in the UK and never works that well. If the palette is still in good condition, move it to the front of the queue and get those colours used. Otherwise kiss it goodbye.

Spring Clean Your Makeup – Tools

Brushes and sponges are number one here. We ADORE our brushes and binning them just feels plain wrong. BUT if they’re old and scratchy, they aren’t applying your makeup correctly. And if they aren’t doing that, then why are they there? The same goes for beauty blenders. If a deep clean hasn’t perked it up then treat yourself to a new one.

Spring Clean Your Makeup – Superfluous Makeup

You know what we mean. All those impulse-buys and once-used products. Any you haven’t opened can be gifted on, but everything else? Throw it away and chalk it up to experience. At least you know what doesn’t work, so you’re less likely to buy it again.

Our Top Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Makeup

  • The jar symbol on packaging is a guide to how long the product should last, but use common sense – if something smells wrong (usually mascara) or looks off, don’t risk it.
  • It’s a no brainer but remember to clean your face and hands before applying makeup.
    Wash brushes once or twice a month and use sanitiser spray in between washes (if you don’t have professional brush shampoo use baby shampoo instead). Put reusable sponges into a wash bag and pop them in the washer.
  • Use cotton wool buds or brush applicators to apply lipstick or concealer rather than touching makeup straight to the skin.
  • Store pressed powder applicators with the used side face up.

Makeup Expiry

Our hand infographic shows you how long you can keep your makeup once it’s been opened. Refer to individual packaging for details on how long to keep a product that hasn’t been opened.
spring clean your makeup

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